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May 23rd, 2007

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01:15 pm - Another gem from Jane Espenson's blog
Although Wilson is a Best Friend, He is Not Also A VolleyBall

That probably needs some translating. :-) It's a post about teasers/cold opens for your spec script, and why it might be a good idea (or not) to shake up the formula a bit. Jane uses House as her example, and the test case she gives made me all squeeish.

On a procedural like House or CSI, there's a particular type of teaser that is normally used. The case (criminal or medical) has some sort of mysterious or startling lead-in, which will introduce the way in which our characters enter the story to solve it.

But because we're writing specs, we can get away with doing the sort of thing that the show can only do once in a while: kick off a teaser with one of the main characters already present or involved, for instance.

Interestingly, I'm doing both in my CSI spec. Yes, it's a traditional teaser, with a few moments of leading-up-to-dead-body, the arrival of the CSIs, etc....and then it takes an abrupt turn into the personal, as Sara falls victim to a contaminant at the scene. Both worlds, if I do it right: the solid familiarity of a "proper" CSI cold open, and the personal jolt of one of the CSIs in physical danger. (Other than "Grave Danger," I don't recall any episode that has ended the teaser with a CSI damaged or in mortal peril.)

Anyway, that made me happy.

Everyone who writes or is trying to write spec scripts should be reading Jane's blog.
Current Mood: pleasedpleased

(4 lit candles | Light a candle)


[User Picture]
Date:May 23rd, 2007 10:59 pm (UTC)
Whoo! Way to go Sarah! That's very cool.
[User Picture]
Date:May 24th, 2007 10:26 pm (UTC)
;-) I do like my teaser, though it needs a bit of work. It's much closer than most of the script to its final form.
[User Picture]
Date:May 24th, 2007 01:25 am (UTC)
Damn it, now I really want to see that House episode she wrote the example teaser for. :)
[User Picture]
Date:May 24th, 2007 10:32 pm (UTC)
OMG me too! And yeah, that would pretty much guarantee you a complete script read right there,imho. The one thing we haven't yet seen House react to: something really bad happening to his best friend.

(I hope they do that on the show someday. Because wow.)

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